Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the killing of an older woman inside an East Baltimore church.
The announcement comes a day after 69-year-old Evelyn Player was found slain inside the Southern Baptist Church on North Chester Street where she was a member, and also worked part time as a janitor. She had arrived at the church early Tuesday morning to let contractors inside to work on ongoing church renovations, church officials said.
In addition to the reward money, Hogan said he has directed state law enforcement to help Baltimore Police with the investigation, and “provide enhanced visibility patrols.”
Hogan has also asked Baltimore officials to match the reward.
A spokesperson for the mayor’s office did not immediately respond Wednesday to say whether the city will match the reward.
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“The murder of a 69-year-old grandmother inside a church in East Baltimore has shaken city residents and community leaders to the core,” Hogan said in a statement. “It follows a string of senseless violence that includes a barbershop killing, and the assault of a priest in broad daylight in Little Italy just last week.”
He continued: “People are hurting, they’re scared, and they’re searching for answers. They want to know why this bloodshed keeps happening, and what it’s going to take for something to change.”
Thursday morning, police said they were seeking a “person of interest” in reference to the death of 69-year-old Evelyn Player. No arrests have been made, said Det. Chakia Fennoy.
Baltimore Police have not yet announced any information on a possible motive in the killing, including whether Player was targeted..
Player’s daughter said she does not understand why someone would attack her mother.
“Who would want to hurt my mother?” said Alethea Finch in an interview with The Baltimore Sun Tuesday. “How could someone hurt someone in such a sacred place? … My heart’s broken into a million pieces. I don’t understand why this happened.”
Baltimore Sun reporter Christine Condon contributed to this article.